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Little Big Town’s “Mr. Sun” Debuts As Top Country Album By A Group In 2022
countrymusicnewsblog.com Saturday, 1 October 2022 00:07:50
Mr. Sun, the 10th studio album from ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town and released September 16, officially debuts as the Top Country Album by a group in 2022 in addition to taking the No. 1 spot as Current Country Album in pure album sales. The album also marks the band’s seventh debut in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart. Listen to Mr. Sun here. The album’s lead single “Hell Yeah” hits its highest peak on Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs Chart for the week of October 1, with more than 4.5 million streams during album release week alone. The song has amassed more than 60 million streams to date since its April release. Mr. Sun has received both fan and critical praise alike, including The New York Times hailing it “a sweeping record” and MusicRow declaring it “the band’s most unique and universal project to date.” Rolling Stone calls it “smooth and sweet, with just the right undercurrent of sadness,” with production that feels “spacious and golden.” PEOPLE highlights that “the album arrives with all the attributes that are long-established LBT trademarks: the sublime vocal blends, the sumptuous production, the subtle influences of other legendary harmonizers like the Eagles and the Bee Gees… Add to that the evocative songwriting… and a full spectrum of musical moods … Also at the forefront is music that speaks to what matters most to the quartet — love, family and friendship.” American Songwriter additionally observed that “inside the record, notes reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles ring out, but they’re all tailored to Little Big Town’s country expertise.” Billboard singles out the album’s “swelling” closing track “Friends of Mine,” as a “benediction to finding the collective strength to persevere through tough times,” while Rolling Stone further ties it to the full record: “Like much of Mr. Sun, it feels like a warm embrace from a loved one.” Little Big Town spent all summer bringing their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. Next month, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour in Duluth, GA (October 14) and Huntsville, AL (October 15). For more news, tour dates, and information, please visit www.LittleBigTown.com.
Listen Now: Paula Cole Shares Two New Songs Recorded With Jason Isbell & John Paul White
countrymusicnewsblog.com Friday, 30 September 2022 23:58:02
For The Birds To Benefit The National Audubon Society – On Tour This Fall Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Paula Cole has released For The Birds, a new set of songs recorded with fellow luminaries and Grammy award winners Jason Isbell and John Paul White. Lead single “Mother, Son and Holy Ghost” is a collaboration of three iconic singers and lyricists, and the song sees the three harmonizing on lyrics that paint an introspective portrait of loss and longing. Also released today is “Ricochet,” an uptempo ballad that Cole recorded with John Paul White. For The Birds is available for download now and will be released on vinyl this fall, pre-order here. Profits from For The Birds will support the National Audubon Society and ongoing efforts to promote conservation of birds and their habitats. Listen: “Mother, Son and Holy Ghost” “‘Mother, Son and Holy Ghost’ is about a man who has lost his wife and child,” writes Cole. ”The song describes his lonely landscape, his attempts to fill the void. Of course, a tight grip is futile. He must come to terms with loss in order to be fully alive.” Listen: “Ricochet” “I was beyond thrilled to get the note from Paula to collaborate,” writes John Paul White. “She’s an enigmatic performer, a brilliant wordsmith, a riveting singer – and an even better human being. So happy to be a small part of her fantastic career, and to be her friend.” “I think our collaboration is beautiful,” Cole elaborates. “John Paul plays a gorgeous acoustic guitar part, Jason plays iconic slide guitar. They are both tremendous musicians. I play piano. We all sing. It felt like a band, I loved this experience.” Cole describes how the collaboration came about writing, “I wrote a song for Jason, John Paul and myself. I sent them a demo. Thankfully, they liked it well enough, and I booked us some time at Oceanway Studio in Nashville. I mused upon the lyrical idea of the holy trinity for us as a trio, except I feminized God. Our meeting felt like a reunion, so natural. I had never met Jason or John Paul before, and yet, we felt kindred.” Cole’s personal connection to nature and a lifelong appreciation for wildlife conservation efforts informed her decision to donate profits from the release of the tracks to the National Audubon Society. “I grew up with a biology and ecology professor father,” she writes. “Jim Cole loved birds and bird-watching, and we used to hike on Audubon sanctuary. Giving back to Audubon feels meaningful, for giving to the birds means giving to habitat preservation, which will help so many species, including the human species. On the North American continent alone, we have lost 3 billion birds in my lifetime. That’s one third of the continent’s bird population gone. We must preserve old growth, green space, wildlife corridors, trees. We must bear the responsibility of tending the garden – for ourselves, for generations behind us.”
CMT names country icon Alan Jackson as “Artist of a Lifetime” at 2022 “CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR”
countrymusicnewsblog.com Thursday, 29 September 2022 21:48:53
CMT today announced country superstar Alan Jackson will be honored with the “Artist of a Lifetime” award presented by Ram Trucks at the 2022 “CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR,” premiering Friday, October 14th at 9p/8c on CMT. Jackson will join the illustrious ranks of previous “Lifetime” honorees Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014) as he’s celebrated by his peers for a remarkable career spanning more than three decades. “I believe I’ve made more videos than just about anybody, and I know how important they have been in bringing my songs to life for the fans, so thank you CMT for all the years and for this sweet honor,” Jackson says. “I’m very proud.” “We’re honored to recognize the incomparable Alan Jackson as this year’s CMT ‘Artist of a Lifetime.’ For more than thirty years, his traditional sound, iconic voice and beloved catalog of music has captivated audiences across the globe and his talent as a recording artist and songwriter are simply unmatched,” shared CMT Producers. “From his early beginnings in Newnan, Georgia, to selling out the world’s largest stages, Alan has led fans on a musical journey that proved to be a reflection of their own lives. As his songs continue to inspire new generations of fans, we are privileged to celebrate his lifetime of accomplishments.” The 2022 “CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR” hailing from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, will honor Jackson and previously announced honorees Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes with special never-before-seen performances, special guests and congratulatory moments. Additional honorees, performers and presenters for the 90-minute special to be announced in the coming weeks. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Jackson’s storied career has yielded a staggering 35 No. 1 hits and nearly 60 million sales worldwide, including iconic songs “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Chattahoochee” and “Don’t Rock The Jukebox.” For more than 30 years, his music has entertained (“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”), touched hearts (“Drive (For Daddy Gene)”) and mirrored the emotions and experiences of many (“Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” “Remember When”) giving him a revered place in country music history. His remarkable career includes a long list of accolades that include more than 30 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, two GRAMMYs and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years. Jackson recently released the critically-acclaimed album, Where Have You Gone, and is continuing to thrill audiences on his sold-out Last Call: One More For The Road tour. Jackson’s history with CMT runs deep. He has made and released nearly 60 iconic music videos, starting with his debut single…two of which were honored as the CMA Video of the Year (“Chattahoochee” and “Midnight in Montgomery”), another recognized as the ACM Video of the Year (“Drive (For Daddy Gene)”). He was honored as a “CMT Giant” Continue reading CMT names country icon Alan Jackson as “Artist of a Lifetime” at 2022 “CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR”→
New Music From Shania Twain: Waking Up Dreaming – Official Video
countrymusicnewsblog.com Friday, 23 September 2022 19:56:00
Today, five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning legend and the best-selling female artist in country music history Shania Twain has unveiled her first new single since 2017, “Waking Up Dreaming”. The single serves as her first release with her new label partner Republic Nashville, a division of Republic Records. Shania also released a video for the single, which was directed by Isaac Rentz. Listen HERE. Watch the video HERE. Of the release and new partnership Shania commented “I couldn’t think of a better partner than Republic Nashville. I’m honored and excited to be the label’s first artist and lead the charge of this new and exciting chapter. In this respect, it feels like a new beginning all around, and I’m embracing it wholeheartedly.” Republic Records co-founder and CEO Monte Lipman commented “Shania is one of the most influential and impactful artists of this generation. She’s a rare talent whose legacy continues to resonate throughout the world. We feel a tremendous amount of gratitude to support her new body of work, which is spectacular.” “Waking Up Dreaming” marks her first release in five years since 2017’s critically acclaimed, Now, which bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Top Country Albums Chart upon arrival. It also arrives on the heels of her blockbuster career-spanning documentary Not Just A Girl—streaming on NETFLIX now. It was notably produced by Mercury Studios and directed by Joss Crowley. To accompany the film, she also presented the compilation album Not Just A Girl (The Highlights) available HERE.
Is TikTok Reviving the Honky Tonk Culture?
countrymusicnewsblog.com Friday, 23 September 2022 00:26:40
It’s no doubt that TikTok is having a HUGE impact on artist discovery and what drives the country music charts, but it would appear that the impact of the app is doing a whole lot more to drive country music culture on the dance floor. Of course, for an app that thrives on celebrating music and dancing, this shouldn’t surprise anyone, and I for one, am here for it! The vertical video dancing trends are jumping off the screen and right onto dance hall floors as honky tonks all across the nation see an increased interest in boot-scootin in real life. Honky tonk culture has always ridden waves of popularity, usually driven by the silver screen with movies like Urban Cowboy and Footloose in the 80’s. In the 90’s this rose to a whole new level as mainstream country artists started releasing dance hall versions of tracks like Reba’s “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” and “Watermelon Crawl” from Tracy Byrd, adding an upbeat spin to songs we already knew and loved. These days we’ve got TikTok creators choreographing dances to songs before they’re even released to radio, so that by the time we get to Gilley‘s or Billy Bob’s we’ve all taken our lessons at home and can hit the floor in perfect synchronization. And like all things country music, they may start in Nashville, but the interest is only getting hotter all across the nation. If you really want to see how high the honky tonk star is rising, check out Summer in Knoxville, TN who broadcasts live from the dance floor at Cotton Eyed Joes several nights a week, or Taylor Parish who shares clips from the best western swing dance instructors in Arizona. So what do the folks at TikTok have to say about all of this? Well here’s a direct quote from T’Keyah Hayes who works in TikTok’s music division: Country is one of the more popular genres on TikTok, with its share of trending songs such as Keith Whitley’s 1985 hit “Miami, My Amy” (251.8K+ creations) and Zach Bryan’s “Oklahoma Smokeshow,” and artists like Honey County and David Morris who found massive audiences on the platform. TikTok has become the focal point for Nashville’s line dancing scene, as patrons, dance instructors, and venues share videos of Nashvillians cutting a rug at places like Nashville Palace and Cahoots Lebanon. For local line dancing instructor Dakota Lackey, the growing popularity of the dance on the platform helped him promote his services and meet other line-dancing enthusiasts, such as Alana Andrews. Spurred on by the line dancing community on TikTok, the duo met up at Cahoots Lebanon for a night of group fun. The TikTok line dance craze first surfaced on the platform earlier this year, and continues to grow from an unlikely source: Ed Sheeran’s 2021 song “Shivers” (312K+ creations). In addition to driving traffic to local businesses in Nashville, the popularity of country music on TikTok is also building niche communities for creators to connect. Continue reading Is TikTok Reviving the Honky Tonk Culture?→
New Music From Colter Wall
countrymusicnewsblog.com Thursday, 22 September 2022 00:06:12
Colter Wall Releases Two New Singles with La Honda Records Wall’s original “Cypress Hills and the Big Country” and his cover of Cowboy Jack Clement’s “Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)” out now. Battle Creek, Saskatchewan – As much of the world turns a romantic eye to the West—with television shows like Yellowstone driving popular culture toward a fictional depiction of life on the ranch—singer and songwriter Colter Wall continues to deliver a realistic lens into the West and cowboying, with his distinguished, authentic voice. Today, Wall surprised his fans with the release of two new songs on La Honda Records; a Wall original called “Cypress Hills and the Big Country” and a cover of “Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)” written by country music titan Cowboy Jack Clement. Audiences saw Wall’s performances at the Stagecoach Music Festival and legendary Canadian rodeo, the Ponoka Stampede, in June, and glimpses here and there on social media of his work on the ranch, but these new releases reveal that he’s also been writing and recording new music this summer, much to the delight of Colter’s dedicated followers. “Cypress Hills and the Big Country” was written by Wall about his native country of southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. With images of the regional landscape decorating the song’s narrative, Wall revels in the expansiveness of the prairie that he upholds, and he calls for the solitude and comfort afforded by the hard work of cowboy life. Wall is joined by Patrick Lyons on mandolin, dobro, and guitar for this sweet, easygoing ode to where he calls home, singing, “You can duck underneath all your trials and troubles for a time, like a pronghorn underneath a bottom wire.” With “Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues),” Wall performs a stripped-down version of the song once popularized by Waylon Jennings. In his version of the song, Wall presents a vocal range yet to be heard. The whimsical, smooth nature of the lyrics breaks as Wall leads the chorus with a wail, his voice almost breaking itself. Backed up again by Lyons on mandolin and dobro and Jake Groves on harmonica, Wall’s brawny guitar playing is matched only by his obvious love for the song in its execution. “Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)” and “Cypress Hill and the Big Country” can both be streamed or purchased now at this link. This release of new music follows Wall’s 2020 LP Western Swings & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs—which Associated Press called “raw as the prairie wind”—and Colter Wall and the Scary Prairie Boys’ Live In Front Of Nobody, a 2021 livestream, full-band show turned indie record store, vinyl-only release–a coveted and limited release. Information on both albums can be found at colterwall.com. More About Colter Wall: Colter Wall and his music are from the prairies of southern Saskatchewan, where he lives and works. He is a La Honda Records recording artist and has appeared abroad, including Austin City Limits and most recently at the Ponoka Stampede.
Listen Now: Kelsea Ballerini “If You Go Down (I’m Goin Down Too)”
countrymusicnewsblog.com Tuesday, 20 September 2022 21:49:24
Today, two-time GRAMMY® Award nominated and multiple ACM and CMA Award winning multiplatinum songwriter, producer and author Kelsea Ballerini debuts her new song and video “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” from her highly anticipated fourth studio album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, out September 23rd. Watch the video for “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” HERE. Kelsea has also revealed the complete tracklisting for the album which is set to include the epic collaboration “YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME” with fellow superstars Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce. Set to debut on September 23, 2022, SUBJECT TO CHANGE is available for pre-order/pre-save/pre-add HERE. The album marks her first full-length since 2020 when she unveiled the gold-selling kelsea and its acclaimed stripped-down companion ballerini. Kelsea is credited as a songwriter for every song on the album and solo wrote track 14, “MARILYN.” She collaborated with co-producers Julian Bunetta [Harry Styles, Maroon 5] and Shane McAnally [Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney] as well as Alysa Vanderheym [Lady A, Gone West] and Jesse Frasure [Kane Brown, Little Big Town] on select tracks. The lead single off the album, “HEARTFIRST,” continues to make waves as it is Top 25 and climbing at Country Radio. Kelsea is also set to embark on the intimate HEARTFIRST TOUR for 10 Nights Only this fall. This exclusive headline jaunt launches on September 24th when she tops the marquee at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY. As part of this exclusive run, she’ll grace the stage of the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on October 6th and visit major markets coast-to-coast. Experience SUBJECT TO CHANGE and more from Kelsea Ballerini this year. TRACKLISTING: 1. “SUBJECT TO CHANGE” 2. “THE LITTLE THINGS” 3. “I CAN’T HELP MYSELF” 4. “IF YOU GO DOWN” (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO) 5. “LOVE IS A COWBOY” 6. “MUSCLE MEMORY” 7. “I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’” 8. “WEATHER” 9. “UNIVERSE” 10. “WALK IN THE PARK” 11. “HEARTFIRST” 12. “YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME” (feat. Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce) 13. “DOIN’ MY BEST” 14. “MARILYN” 15. “WHAT I HAVE”
Carrie Underwood Joins iHeartMedia For Virtual Reality Show On September 29th
countrymusicnewsblog.com Tuesday, 20 September 2022 21:44:25
iHEARTMEDIA is teaming up with CAPITOL NASHVILLE’s CARRIE UNDERWOOD to present a virtual reality show on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th at 9p (ET). “iHEARTRADIO Live With CARRIE UNDERWOOD” will allow fans with a META QUEST 2 headset to view the performance in META Horizon Worlds, and on iHEARTRADIO’s FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM pages, where the Country star will perform songs from her JUNE album release, DENIM & RHINESTONES. This is the first show in a new partnership between iHEARTRADIO and META, with more to be announced in the fall. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with iHEARTRADIO to celebrate my album, DENIM & RHINESTONES, and bring these new songs to my fans in VR with Meta Horizon Worlds,” said UNDERWOOD. “This is one of my favorite albums to perform live, and it’s so fun to bring this new music to life in such an exciting way.” “This new partnership is a continuation of our commitment at iHEARTMEDIA to connect artists to their fans on the most exciting new entertainment platforms,” said iHEARTMEDIA Pres./Entertainment Enterprises JOHN SYKES. “We are excited to be able to kick this off with a performance from CARRIE UNDERWOOD. More to come on this new partnership with META.”
John Micheal Montgomery Injured in Tour Bus Rollover
countrymusicnewsblog.com Tuesday, 13 September 2022 23:04:50
Country legend John Michael Montgomery is optimistic after suffering injuries in a rollover accident on the road from Tennessee to North Carolina. “Despite some cuts and broken ribs, I am doing well,” the singer said in a statement. Montgomery said he was on his way to a concert in North Carolina at the time of the crash. The 57-year-old country musician was a passenger on a 2001 Prevost Featherlite bus traveling south on I-75 just south of Jellico when it veered off the interstate, hit an embankment and overturned, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report. He and two others reported non-life-threatening injuries after the accident. Montgomery, who hails from Nicholasville, Kentucky, has released 10 studio albums and had more than 30 singles on the Billboard country charts, including “I Love the Way You Love Me,” “Life’s a Dance,” and “I Swear.” He is the father of country singer Walker Montgomery and brother to Eddie Montgomery, with whom he performed as part of the band Montgomery Gentry. “Thanks to everyone for your concern,” Montgomery said.
Tune-In Alert: ACM Honors to Air on Fox Tuesday 8/7c
countrymusicnewsblog.com Tuesday, 13 September 2022 02:14:39
ACM Honors, frequently dubbed “the Country Music industry’s favorite night,” is returning to television for the first time in five years and coming to FOX for the first time as a two-hour primetime special premiering this Tuesday, September 13 at 8/7c. Hosted by 4-time ACM Award winner and reigning ACM Female Artist of the Year Carly Pearce, ACM Honors celebrates the biggest names in Country Music, including Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Shania Twain, Morgan Wallen, TV series Yellowstone, ACM Songwriter of the Year winner HARDY, and more with tribute performances you’ll only see here from Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Lainey Wilson, and many more. Honorees: Miranda Lambert, ACM Triple Crown Award Chris Stapleton, ACM Spirit Award Shania Twain, ACM Poet’s Award Morgan Wallen, ACM Milestone Award Yellowstone, ACM Film Award HARDY, ACM Songwriter of the Year Sonny Throckmorton, ACM Poet’s Award Connie Bradley, ACM Icon Award Duane Clark, ACM Service Award Paul Barnabee, ACM Lifting Lives Award Dwight Wiles, ACM Lifting Lives Award Hosted by: Carly Pearce Performers: Trace Adkins Kelsea Ballerini Dierks Bentley Brooks & Dunn Dan + Shay Jordan Davis ERNEST Vince Gill HARDY Wynonna Judd Tiera Kennedy Avril Lavigne Little Big Town Carly Pearce Morgan Wallen Lainey Wilson Presenters: Beth Ditto of FOX’s original series MONARCH Eric Church Jesse Frasure Ashley Gorley Mickey Guyton Frank Liddell